Oram v. The Dillon City Police Department et al
ORDER denying 149 Motion for Rule 60 Relief from Final Judgment/Reconsideration; denying 157 Motion for Relief in Equity. No further filings will be entertained in this closed case. Further filings may result in the imposition of sanctions. Signed by Judge Brian Morris on 1/9/2018. (Copy mailed to Oram.) (NOS)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
GARY ORAM, JR.,
THE CITY OF DILLON, CETH
HAGGARD, JEREMY ALVAREZ,
and JACOB JOHNSON,
Plaintiff Gary Oram (“Oram”) filed a Motion for Relief from Final Judgment
on August 30, 2017. (Doc. 149.) Oram filed a Motion for Relief in Equity on
December 11, 2017. (Doc. 157.)
The Court will recite the history of this case only as relevant to explain its
reasoning. Oram filed his complaint on September 14, 2015. (Doc. 1.) The Court
granted summary judgment in favor of, and dismissed all claims against,
Defendants The City of Dillon, Ceth Haggard, and Jeremy Alvarez (“City
Defendants”) on December 20, 2016 . (Doc. 132.)
Oram failed to serve Defendant Jacob Johnson within 90 days of the filing of
his complaint. (Doc. 136.) The Court issued an order on December 28, 2016, to
show cause as to why Oram’s remaining claims against Johnson should not be
dismissed for lack of service. (Doc. 136.) Oram failed to respond to the Court’s
order, and failed to elect service on Defendant Johnson. As a result, the Court
issued an order on August 23, 2017, dismissing claims against Johnson without
prejudice for lack of service. (Doc. 145.)
Oram filed the first of two pending motions (hereafter “first motion”) on
August 30, 2017. (Doc. 149.) He contends: (1) that he is entitled to “reversal” of
this Court’s December 20, 2016, Order (Doc. 132) awarding summary judgment to
the City Defendants; (2) that he is entitled to “District Court review and relief of all
void judgments” entered by United States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch
(Docs. 23; 48; 61; 63; 85; 139); and (3) that he is entitled to “all damages as pled”
against the City Defendants. (Docs. 149 at 2; 150 at 7.) In support of his requested
relief, Oram alleges that the Court failed to consider a witness statement, that
Magistrate Lynch lacked jurisdiction, and that Defendants had submitted
incomplete or falsified discovery responses constituting fraud on the Court. (Doc.
150 at 4-6.)
Oram filed the pending Motion for Relief in Equity (hereafter “second
motion”) on December 11, 2017. (Doc. 157.) Oram’s second motion seeks an
injunction to prevent the withdrawal of counsel for Defendants Haggard and
Alvarez, as well as declaratory and “other relief” “as this Court deems appropriate
and just.” (Doc. 158 at 17.) In support, Oram re-states the allegations of his first
Oram characterizes his first motion as a motion for relief from final
judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). Rule 60(b) provides relief
from a “final judgment or order” in case of “mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or
excusable neglect,” Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(1), “fraud, misrepresentation, or
misconduct,” Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(3), or where “the judgment is void,” Fed. R.
Civ. P. 60(b)(4).
A final judgment “ends the litigation on the merits and leaves nothing for the
court to do but execute the judgment.” Catlin v. U.S., 324 U.S. 229, 233 (1945).
Where an action involves multiple parties, any order that adjudicates “fewer than
all the claims” or “the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties” is not final
absent discretionary certification of finality by the Court. Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b).
Oram’s first motion seeks reversal of six orders issued by Magistrate Lynch.
(Doc. 150 at 7.) Magistrate Lynch’s orders include a scheduling order (Doc. 23),
two discovery orders (Docs. 48; 61), an order denying entry of default (Doc. 63),
and two text orders denying previous motions to reconsider (Docs. 85; 139). Oram
contends that these orders exceed the jurisdiction of a United States Magistrate
Judge, and that they are void and subject to reversal by this Court under Rule
Oram also seeks reversal of an order issued by this Court (Doc. 132)
adopting Magistrate Lynch’s Findings and Recommendations to grant summary
judgment to the City Defendants and dismiss Oram’s claims against the City
Defendants with prejudice. (Doc. 150 at 2.) Oram contends that this judgment is
based on mistake, and that it should be reversed under Rule 60(b)(1).
None of the seven orders identified by Oram are final orders within the
meaning of Rule 60(b). The Court will construe, therefore, Oram’s first motion as a
motion to reconsider. This Court’s Local Rule 7.3 governs motions for
reconsideration of interlocutory orders. “No one may file” such a motion “without
prior leave of court.” L.R. 7.3(a). A motion for leave to file a motion to reconsider
must demonstrate either: (1) that the facts or law are “materially different” than
that which the parties presented to the Court before entry of the contested order,
and the party applying for reconsideration did not know such fact or law before
entry of the order, despite exercise of reasonable diligence; or (2) new material
facts arose or a change of law occurred after the Court entered such order. L.R.
7.3(b). Oram has failed to make such showing.
The Court notes Oram’s pro se status. The Court must "liberally construe"
pro se filings. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Oram has repeatedly
raised the above matters in previous filings, however, including two motions for
leave to file a motion to reconsider which were denied by Judge Lynch. Oram is
evidently aware of this District’s Local Rules, but instead seeks to use Rule 60 as a
substitute for appeal. Not even the most liberal reading of Oram’s first motion can
overcome this deficiency.
Oram characterizes his second motion as a motion for equitable relief. With
the exception of Oram’s attempt to prevent the withdrawal of counsel, Oram has
repeatedly raised the matters in previous filings. (See Docs. 42; 43; 47; 58; 66;
135; 150.) The Court will consider Oram’s second motion as motion for
Oram likewise has failed in his second motion to make the showing required
by Local Rule 7.3 for leave to file a motion to reconsider. With regard to the
benefit afforded Oram given his pro se status, nothing in the record indicates that
Oram lacks knowledge of the Local Rules, or that he has made any attempt to
comply with repeated orders of this Court.
Defendants have asked the Court to levy sanctions on Oram to prevent
further “frivolous” filings. (Docs. 153 at 5; 160 at 2.) Defendants ask the Court to
levy attorneys fees and costs incurred in responding to Oram’s motions. (Doc. 152
The record reflects that Oram has filed two appeals and one motion for
reconsideration en banc to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concerning these
same matters. (Docs. 54, 140, 143.) The Ninth Circuit has dismissed each appeal,
and warned Oram that further filings may result in sanctions. (Docs. 62; 142; 143
at 1.) Oram further has petitioned for a writ of certiorari to the United States
Supreme Court. (Doc. 151.) That petition was likewise denied. (Doc. 155.)
This Court does not impose sanctions lightly. The voluminous record in the
instant case and Oram’s history of out-of-jurisdiction appeals does lend support to
Defendants’ requests. Should Oram continue to file motions in this case, an award
of sanctions will be considered.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Relief from Final
Judgment (Doc. 149) and Plaintiff’s Motion for Relief in Equity (Doc. 157) are
No further filings will be entertained in this closed case. Further filings may
result in the imposition of sanctions.
DATED this 9th day of January, 2018.
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